Friday, October 25, 2013


To my son Tommy,

It feels like we bypassed fall because winter weather descended on us faster than a woolly bugger eats an apple.  I will tell you the woolly bugger joke when you are older as it is a Downey classic, but trust me that comparison means fast.  The freeze warning and cold temperatures this morning meant a change in wardrobe for you.  You have grown leaps and bounds in the past year especially physically, which means we don't have a good fitting winter jacket for you anymore.  It has been so warm lately that it didn't dawn on us to get prepared with a brand new jacket.  So today, we went to the old school methods again and did you up with layer upon layer.

I am a big proponent on layers.  A nice warm thick winter jacket has its place but when I was young I learned it also has its drawbacks.  I made the mistake of bringing only a winter jacket on my very first camping trip during my boy scout career.  As scouts often do, we played and hiked and rough housed and did very active things.  I would get hot and even start sweating while wearing my heavy duty jacket that was made to keep you warm even in the arctic.  I would take it off and soon start freezing even more so because of the previous sweating.  It was an all or nothing situation that had no happy medium.  I was informed by an older scout that next time I should wear a undershirt, a long sleeve tee, a flannel button down, a sweater, a light waterproof jacket, and a heavy winter coat.  This way I could mix and match and find the right temp without risking my health.

Your Grandpa Leo had told me the same thing before that same camping trip but at that time I knew everything and he knew nothing.  After experiencing the consequences of my decision, and hearing it from someone else, I learned my lesson.  Unfortunately, being a bull-headed Irish man like my father before me, that lesson had to be drilled into me multiple times over my young life.  Guess that lesson had to build upon itself layer after layer much like my winter wardrobe.  So many times I would mutter under my breath, "He was right again" as I sat there eating crow and called him for help.  At the point I would call him, I really did need help because I would suffer most anything because I was a stupid kid that had to be right.  Funny thing is, given all the numerous chances he had, he never said "See, I told ya so" even though his delusional know-it-all of a son would say it any chance he got to, even if those occasions were rare and far between.  I hope you are more open to advice than your father before you, but you already told me "See! I told ya so!" twice this morning.

Sincerely with love from your dad,

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